Sunday, January 27, 2013

Traditional Pot Roast

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but you have to plan it out a little.  I finally remembered ahead of time so that I could make this.  I have had this pot roast when someone else has made it and it is delicious.

The recipe comes from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Traditional Pot Roast
3 pounds rump roast or chuck roast
1 quart buttermilk (I had not made my own so I had to use store bought)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
several springs thyme, tied together (I didn't have fresh so I tied some dry inside of a cheesecloth)
1/2 teaspoons green peppercorns, crushed
1 dozen small red potatoes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
2 tablespoons arrowroot - mixed with 2 tablespoons water
sea salt and pepper

Using a needle or skewer, stick the meat all over. Place in a bowl or glass loaf pan just large enough to contain the meat and pour buttermilk over it.  Allow to marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for several days.
Remove from buttermilk and dry off with paper towels.  In a heavy, flameproof casserole, brown on all sides, in butter and olive oil.  Remove meat from casserole, and pour off browning fat.  Add wine, stock, thyme, and peppercorns, bring to a boil and skim.  Return pot roast to casserole and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, covered, for several hours or until tender.  One hour before serving add potatoes and carrots.
Remove meat and vegetables to a platter and bring sauce to a boil on the stove.  Spoonful by spoonful, add arrowroot mixture until desired thickness is obtained. Season to taste.
**Note:  I had my roast in the oven for about 4 hours.  It came out super tender!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Garlic Pork Bratwurst with Sauerkraut

We picked up this fresh (frozen) garlic pork bratwurst from a local farm.  Decided to do a quick and easy dinner tonight.

Garlic Pork Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
1 package of bratwurst (4 links)
1 jar of sauerkraut, we used Eden Organic
Place bratwurst into a large pan made for the oven.  I used a Lodge brand iron skillet that has a lid.  Add sauerkraut and place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for about 45 minutes, remove lid to check doneness of the bratwurst.

The meal was served with a baked Japanese sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon, and a side salad.  The sweet potatoes can be cooked in the oven at the same time as the bratwurst, if they are small potatoes.  If they are large cook them in the microwave oven.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ginger Grilled Tuna

I have this new pan from Le Creuset that I have been wanting to try out, it is a grill pan.  It is the kind that has the raised sections like a grill.  I thought that I would give tuna a try and see how I would do.  The tuna (as I thought I was cooking it just right) came out a little more done that I would like, we like to eat our tuna on the rare side.  I need to work on the amount of heat it needs to heat up and maintain.  Other than that it worked wonderful.  Can't wait to cook something else in this pan.

Ginger Grilled Tuna
2 tuna steaks
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup tamari
Combine all ingredients, except tuna, mix thoroughly; pour over tuna and let marinade for about 30 minutes.  Remove from marinade and cook.  I cooked this tuna on this skillet for about 3 minutes per side, which for us overcooked it.

Tuna served with fresh cooked broccoli and a side salad
(lettuce, tomato, red bell pepper, carrots and Asian Dressing).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chicken Mediterranean Style

Dinner tonight was a protein and all vegetables.  Now if you are paleo (paleolithic) diet this may be a fit for you (depending on your feelings regarding dairy). When I planned tonight's dinner it all really started when I was in the grocery store.  I just put things together to make this meal tonight. 

Chicken Mediterranean Style
3 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 to 1/4 inch flat
coconut oil
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 of a large bunch of fresh parsley
1 bunch of fresh mint (if you are buying it in the store, one small container will do)
Large pinch of dried oregano
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Place about a tablespoon of coconut oil into a skillet over medium high heat.  Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper then add chicken to skillet.  Cook until browned on each side about 5 minutes per side.  Remove cooked chicken and place on a serving platter and cover with foil, keep warm.  Remove any excess oil, add tomatoes with juice, parsley and mint. Reduce heat and stir, add lemon juice and oregano.  Let simmer until juices reduce.  Once ready to plate add feta cheese to pan and stir.  Some of the crumbles will slightly melt.  Remove from heat.  Place a chicken breast on  a plate and top with tomato mixture.

Sauteed Kale
1-1/2 pound bunch of kale, washed/soaked, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3 small sections of leeks, white and part of the green section, sliced thin
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until soft , but not colored.  Add leeks, raise the heat to high, add the water and kale and toss to combine.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all of the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste  and add vinegar.  Serve.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds.  Place cut halves onto a cookie sheet and place into a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove from oven, with a hot pad in your hand, hold the squash and with your other hand use a fork to scrape out the insides of the squash into a bowl.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Serve.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cincinnati Five Way Chili

I have made this before and tonight I was trying as I was trying to figure out what to make on a cold rainy night, a thought popped into my head, what about chili?  I remembered that I had this recipe and thought I would make it again.

Cincinnati Five Way Chili
1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 medium onions, chopped
1 medium celery rib, chopped (I do not use celery in my dishes because of my allergy to it)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 - 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes with added puree
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
12 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons butter
1 - 16 ounce can kidney beans, drained, rinsed and heated
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chopped raw onion and oyster crackers
In a large dutch oven, cook ground beef, 1 onion , celery, and garlic stirring often to break up lumps of meat, until beef loses its pink color, about 5 minutes.  Add chili powder, salt, cinnamon, cumin, basil, oregano, allspice, and pepper.  Cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add tomatoes with puree, beef broth, vinegar, and chocolate; break up tomatoes with a large spoon.  Bring to a boil, reduce hear to low, and simmer until thickened, about 1 hour, adding more beef broth or water if chili gets too thick.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until tender but still firm, 9 to 10 minutes.  Drain well.  Toss in a large bowl with butter.  Place warm kidney beans, cheddar cheese, raw onion, and oyster crackers in separate bowls.  Serve spaghetti on plates and top with chili.  Let guests choose their own toppings.

Along with the chili we had a small salad with lettuce, tomatoes, green bell peppers, avocado slices, served with a blueberry balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Potato Gnocchi with Pesto and Vegetables

Want a quick dinner?  Here is one for you.  I bought the gnocchi at the store one day to have as a quick dinner, finally made it for dinner.

Potato Gnocchi with Pesto and Vegetables
1 package of pre-made gnocchi, cooked to package directions
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 tomato seeded and diced (I easily seed a tomato by cutting it in quarters and cutting out the inside)
1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, diced and seeds removed if there are a lot of them
Homemade Pesto Sauce (recipe below)
Once gnocchi is cooked, drain (reserve a little bit of the water in case you need it later).  Add gnocchi back to the same pan over medium low heat.  Add artichoke hearts, tomato, roasted peppers and spinach, stir to incorporate, add pesto and stir.  If for some reason the mixture is too dry add a little bit of the water.  Serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Pesto Sauce
In a blender add the following ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Blend ingredients until slightly coarse (you don't want it as smooth as soup).

Banana Pudding

Ever need a dish to take to someones house or a pot luck dinner?  This is a great dish for that.  You can make it ahead of time or even the day of.  I got this recipe from a girl I used to work with and it makes the best banana pudding I have ever had.

Banana Pudding
3-4 bananas (I have used up to 5 before)
2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding (I have gotten where I like to used the cooked vanilla pudding better made by Dr. Oetker, imported from Canada)
3-4 tablespoons Cool Whip (you can find other brands that are a little more natural, you just have to look for them)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 box vanilla wafer cookies (I use Country Choice Organic Snacking Vanilla Wafers, 8 ounce box, they are a little smaller than those other commercial brands.  I buy 2 boxes of them)
Slice bananas, mix instant pudding to directions on the box (same thing if you are using cooked pudding), let set in refrigerator for about 5 minutes (just so that it thickens up slightly) then add cool whip and sour cream to pudding mixture, mix well.  Layer cookies, bananas, and pudding in an oblong dish (or you can use a upright dish like pictured below).  Place in refrigerator overnight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Halibut Cheeks in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

We bought Halibut cheeks when I ordered some other fish from  I have had halibut cheeks out in a restaurant before but it has been a long time ago.  I have never cooked them at home before, this was a first.  Thankfully I do not intimidate easily when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, I guess you could say I am fearless (okay maybe not that far) but I am not afraid to make something new.  I just go by the seat of my pants, hang on, and go for it, which is what I did tonight.

This recipe I found actually came from another blog called Chronicles of a Fledgling Home Cook.  I knew I wanted to do the Halibut in a butter wine sauce, so that is what I searched and found this recipe.

For those of you who are out there who think there is no way that I have time to make something like this for dinner during the week (you just got home from work, kids are get the idea), you are mistaken.  I actually made this tonight in under (way under) 30 minutes.  Now mind you I did have the help of my husband, but even if he didn't help I would have still pulled this dinner off in under 30 minutes.  So don't be afraid...GO FOR IT!

Halibut Cheeks with Lemon, Caper and Butter Sauce
This is the recipe as it comes straight from the blog, see my notes for changes.
1/2 cup flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound halibut cheeks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 slices pancetta, dices (I used bacon, didn't have pacetta and felt that bacon would be just as flavorful)
1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay, from Virginia of course)
1/2 lemon, juiced (I actually used a whole lemon, didn't affect the flavor or consistency)
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped but whole for garnish
Put the flour on a deep plate and season well with salt and pepper.  Dredge the fish in flour.  Put a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and butter and get the skillet hot.  Add the cheeks and cook until browned on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip the fish and continue to cook until desired doneness, about 2 minutes more.  Remove the cheeks and set aside, keeping warm.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring to brown.  Remove and drain pancetter on paper towels.  Put the skillet back over medium heat.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil, the white wine, lemon juice, capers, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the parsley and bring to a boil; boil until reduced and thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place a serving dish of the cheeks on a plate, pour the sauce over the fish with the pancettea, and serve immediately.

This meal was served with green beans (frozen, wrong time of year for fresh) and a salad (consisting of romaine lettuce, green and red bell peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese, oil and vinegar).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Savory Pot Roast

Do you ever just need comfort food?  My usual comfort food is a big bowl of macaroni and cheese but for tonight I did a roast with noodles and cabbage.  Even though it isn't my normal comfort food, pot roast has a heartiness to it, that for me makes it comfort food.

I would really love to know what is your favorite go to comfort food.  Please feel free to share this with me by commenting at the bottom of this post.  I would love to hear from you!

Savory Pot Roast
This recipe comes from an A1 booklet I picked up years ago.  The cooked pot roast reminds me slightly of sauerbraten (which is marinated for several days and then cooked) with its taste and texture.

I doubled the sauce part of this recipe and used a 4 pound bottom round roast.
1 -2-/12 pound bottom round roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup A1 steak sauce
1/2 cup catsup or ketchup (really depends on how you spell it)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit.  In a large heavy pot, over medium high heat, brown roast in hot oil (all sides), drain.
Blend the next five ingredients into a bowl, pour over meat.  Cover pot and place into oven and cook for 3 hours.  Remove meat from pan and place on a platter to rest for about 10 minutes, slice.  Use gravy over sliced meat.

Serve with buttered noodles and sweet and sour red cabbage.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chicken Manhattan

I have this recipe in a cookbook of mine but I decided to change it a little bit and make it a little more healthy (minus the breadcrumbs and coatings).

Chicken Manhattan
2 chicken breasts, pounded flat
Salt and Pepper
olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 slices of provolone cheese
1/4 cup dry white wine
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto chicken.  Add chicken to skillet and cook about 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Remove chicken from pan and place on a dish, cover and keep warm.  Melt butter into pan, add onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add garlic, spinach and nutmeg.  Mix well and cook until heated through.  Top each chicken breast with half of the spinach mixture.  Arrange provolone cheese slices on top.  Return to pan to medium heat.  Add wine and cover.  Cook 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and chicken is tender.

Along with the chicken we had cooked broccoli.  Place a pan with water on the stove and place in rinsed fresh broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Toasts with Appetizers

We had friends coming over to celebrate the New Year so I decided to do some appetizers.  We have a big spread of all kinds of goodies.

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Toasts

  • This recipe comes from
  • 8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, finely crushed (I actually ground mine up in my coffee grinder - it is just for spices)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 thin slices French-bread baguette

  • 12 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (My smoked salmon was actually 8 ounces and it was plenty)
  • Lemon peel strips (for garnish)
  • Tarragon sprigs (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Set aside.
Brush oil over both sides of bread. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake until bread is just crisp, about 5 minutes per side. (Cheese mixture and toasts can be made 2 days ahead. Cover cheese mixture and chill. Cool toasts; store airtight at room temperature.)
Spread cheese mixture over toasts. Top with salmon, trimming to fit. Garnish with lemon peel strips and tarragon sprigs. Arrange on platter and serve.

**Note:  I brushed the olive oil onto the bread but in all seriousness I really don't think it is necessary.  I did however enjoy the freshness of this dish.  Also if you wanted to save time you could certainly use the small little toasts that are already cut (you can usually find them in the bakery section of most major grocery stores).

The other items for our get together are homemade hummus with carrots, cucumbers, green and red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olive mixture that has been marinated in white wine, aged Gouda, Swiss cheese, two different types of Italian dried sausage and crackers.